Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Arsenal: A never-ending vicious circle ‏?

By Akbar Ghaffar

“Vicious circle: A complex of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop toward greater instability"

After all the pre-match statements, I sadly have to say that last night’s was another display of what I call "a never-ending vicious circle". I will not talk much about the particulars of the match, because frankly looking at the bigger picture the view is quite different.

A lot of the problems I mention below need to be resolved if Arsenal are to get out of this “vicious circle”

The first problem with Arsenal that Wenger fails to understand is squad depth.

The same squad is utilised for three competitions, playing three matches per week and that, I believe, leaves you with not only player burn out but also injuries. And we have suffered from both.

We have some depth now compared to the past but no where near enough. The squad that is left on the bench is a mixture of talented youngsters and what I would call the injured crew.

But you cannot expect these players to come off the bench and really be competitive enough or have any significant impact.

Look at the subs bench last night: Vela (I mean Vela is a good player but you can’t take out Van Persie and bring on someone who is nowhere near Van Persie's quality or experience), Fabianski, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner and Silvestre.

Manchester United on the other hand regularly have players like Tevez, Scholes and Rooney on the bench.

I really believe that Wenger desperately needs to get a good depth in the squad with players that are not young who can really push the first team squad members.

Adebayor for example won’t give a crap about his position because Bendtner is not good enough (at the moment) to push him for a regular first team place. Similarly, at the back where we are quite vulnerable we have no depth at all.

If Wenger really wants to carry on with his youth project then we need some really really awesome talent to make up for the loss of experience and strength.

Frankly, apart from Fabregas (currently), I do not see the super super talent that he talks about all the time. I mean a player who is a real super talent like Messi, Pato or Ronaldo.

And who do we currently have who was brought in the last few years and really developed into world-class? Senderos? Diaby?

I do understand that the Arsenal players are young but so are Messi and Fabregas who started showing their class early on. The same holds with the case of Henry, Viera and others.

I really believe that the players brought in have to be exceptional otherwise you need to buy established and known talented players because frankly we are going nowhere with this youth policy.

The second issue is about the strictness of player contracts.

Wenger moaned about Hleb leaving (Flamini ran out of contract) but why did you allow him to go Arsene?

Ferguson put his foot down and Ronaldo had to respect his contract.

He is now reaping the benefits to the detriment of Arsenal!

Arsenal will always be in transition if we do not show strictness and ignore the sirens of clubs offering millions for our players.

Are we an academy that develops players and sell them or what?

What if tomorrow we have mega offers for Fabregas, Persie and Walcott? Are we going to sell them and then buy some 17 yr old and then watch this frustrating Arsenal play with kids for another 5 years till they grow up become disillusioned and leave again?

“Vicious circle”: A complex of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop toward greater instability

Another significant issue is not giving contracts to players after 30. Well no one would really like to be at a club where they would be thrown out after that age would they?

We cannot have and enjoy such great legends then. Arsene needs to change this policy because frankly speaking Maldini, Giggs, Scholes, Raul and others are not crap after 30 and these are the players you need for the big games.

So unless we do not have enough desire to go for every competition and win it (I believe Wenger has really lost hunger and just wants the CL) we would not be winning anything ever.

Unless we have super super players who are made to respect their contracts we are always going to be in this "never-ending vicious cycle" where we would barely make it for 4th place in the League and get really frustrated seeing the key players depart.

If these problems are not solved then I'd wait for another 3 years at least and then may be start watching Arsenal again…. if this vicious circle comes to an end by then.

But will it?

“Vicious circle”: A complex of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop toward greater instability


Anonymous said...

Wenger Out!!!

That is all.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to try to hang a blog post on pseudo philosophy then it might strengthen your argument if you didn't present your assumptions as fact. "The first problem with Arsenal that Wenger fails to understand is squad depth." And you know that because you assume that based on your reading of the situation. Looks to be coming from a somewhat limited paradigm if you ask me.

However what says most about your credentials to a valid opinion as a Gooner is "If these problems are not solved then I'd wait for another 3 years at least and then may be start watching Arsenal again…. if this vicious circle comes to an end by then." So if Arsene doesn't do what you want, you want support Arsenal any more.

Here's a definition for you;

Sup*port"er\, n. 1. One who, or that which, supports; as, oxygen is a supporter of life.

Don't forget to breathe.

Anonymous said...

United didn't have Rooney on the bench last night, he started. That picture clearly isn't from last night. But your point is valid, they did have the even more expensive Berbatov on the bench instead!

Decent article. I wonder how we would be doing if we still had Pires and Ljungberg hanging around to step in when needed and help the youngsters a la Giggs and Scholes. Bearing in mind we got no money for either of them it would surely have been worth giving them the contracts they wanted.

We'll never know but now we just need to look forward and hope Arsene pulls out the chequebook, we really are only a couple of quality signings away from challenging again.

Unknown said...

Arsenal have NO MONEY! My God, when will people realise that. Arsenal can't buy a 30 mil player like United, Chelski or Liverpool. This is why Wenger doesn't buy experienced players. The y are too EXPENSIVE. They got Arshvin in because it was the bargain of the century at 15-18mil. Five to ten years ago, the gap between us and the rest of the top four was not as huge as now. Spoilt fans need to look at the bigger picture and realise we either 1)sell out to foreign investment or 2)we keep our morals and play some of the best football around and this should be good enough reasons to be proud to be an Arsenal fan.

Anonymous said...

well i thought arsenal DO HAVE money.
last year (when arsene only bought like bischoff nasri and eduardo) arsene said the club's giving him huge budget to buy many players but ARSENE WAS THE ONE WHO DIDNT WANT TO BUY MORE PLAYERS.
he said he still believed in his youngbuttalentedbutwillnevereverwinanything squad.
well let's see monsieur wenger.
*really hope he buys someone BIG this summer though

MeteorMonster said...


Arsenal is the only football club in the world that has over 100 million pounds in cash reserves and a triple A credit rating.

BTW, Cash reserves means cash in the bank not allocated for any particular use.

Don't believe me? Go to and look on their interim financial report for year ending 2008. Arsenal is also rated as the 7th highest valued sports organization in the world by Forbes.

Please stop making erroneous statements until you research the facts. If you are a real fan, take the time to do your research before you attempot to misinform yourself and others.

Anonymous said...

Finally i found a supporter like me in Stephen. Arsenal is a great club, not a great trophy cabinet. Trophies are a bonus of watching a beautiful match and i wouldnt want Arsenal to change that. There was great support last night and there will always be because arsenal is a GREAT CLUB. Onwards and Upwards, thats what i say

Anonymous said...

i think AW better wake up to the fact his kids are kids .To get experience he will have to get the finished product not some babe and loan him out. This takes time.All round clubs are buying to beef up.They don't always buy wc kids.
Btw if it's more of the same by AW then gooner fans better tolerate another barren season in 2010.

Anonymous said...

This is a daft article.
Are you dizzy!!!
You really did not think this through or did you?

aqqe said...

Well said Stephen! My sentiments exactly.

And to the author; only Fábregas is talented? I'd say Wenger is a better judge of talent than you. Denilson, Song, Walcott, Nasri, Bendnter, Djourou, Vela, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Merida etc aren't talented in your eyes? No future in football, have they?

Wenger doesn't have to change his policy, just help it along the way a little bit with 1 or 2 well scouted, semi- experienced (24-28 years old) signings in the summer. That is all, because the talent is already there.

Boris Godunov said...

The shock of another disappointment is gone now. Bendtner did the right thing - got drunk and was thrown out of a pub. It's better to play beautiful game and loose than play ugly (like Chelski) and loose. Let's not forget, they haven't won CL and they have all players in their prime.
I believe that Gazidis and Kroenke will have a very positive impact on future transfers and contract negotiations. Before that, it was all Wenger's job and one simply can't keep up with such workload.
I must agree that some changes should be implemented in the way the club operates. Salary cap (witch kills the desire to grow and improve) and the stupid 30-year-old rule(it kills potential for the future of grown players) should be abolished. Dennis Bergkamp was by far the best Arsenal squad player even when he was over 30.
By and large, this was, in my opinion, a good season for the great Arse. The potential, hunger and talent the boys showed deserves applause and gratitude. The only bad taste in my mouth was left by some halfhearted performances from certain players. I do hope they can remedy that in the future.
Godspeed for the great Arse next season. 1970's thanks for the good work throughout the year, keep it up.

manjiT said...

i believe we should all trust in Wenger. he is the one who understands the arsenal squad better than anyone else. that doesnt mean that he wont make mistakes. may be he did make some, may be he didnt... may be next season we wud see the denilsons, the diabys or the gibbs spark. may be the price of this years so called failure would redeem as new star amongst this years young guns next season. u never know.....

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